For spring-calving suckler herds, the end of August is a natural time to remove the stock bull from cows. Any cow served from mid- to late-August will calve in late-May and early-June.
If you aim is to finish calving by a set date, then taking the bull is the best way to achieve this.
On many farms where the bulk of cows are March- and April-calving, having a handful of later-calving cows can be a hindrance.
They don’t fit in with the management routine for March and April calves such as worming, dehorning and weaning.
Late-calving cows also require additional housing space and concentrate feeding during winter to maintain milk production.
If the bull has been running with cows from May, or the start of June, cows have had plenty of chances to get in calf by late-August.
Empty cows in late-summer will be animals with a fertility problem and it may be time to move these animals on.
Fertile cows should be long settled and in calf by now.
On many farms, the bull will run with cows until housing time, as isolating the animal can be a problem from a safety perspective. Also, housing may not be suitable to house a bull on his own.
These are factors that also have to be weighed up. However, don’t allow these reasons to cause spring calving run into June every year.
When scanning cows, take a tough line on anything that is calving after your target finishing date.
It will only affect a handful of cows and selling these animals live will provide a practical solution for those unwilling to take the bull away for safety reasons.